According to ESPN.com, the United States Men’s National Soccer Team was not involved in the US Soccer Federation’s offensive social media posts in which the central image was removed from Iran’s flag.
The two nations are set to square off Tuesday in a crucial Group B affair.
“The players and the staff knew nothing about what was being posted,” said US coach Gregg Berhalter. “Sometimes things are out of our control. We believe that it’s going to be a match that the result will depend on who puts more effort in, who executes better on the field. And we’re not focused on outside things. All we can do on our behalf is apologize on behalf of the players and the staff, but it’s not something that we are part of.”
Iran filed a complaint with FIFA’s ethics committee and has demanded the US be expelled from the tournament.
FanDuel Sportsbook currently has the US at +230 on the moneyline.